August 27, 2012
A Provençal Galette and Tomatoes Really Are Fruit
I have seen the light - tomatoes are fruit.
The is-it-a-fruit or is-it-a-veggie debate has gone on for quite some time. Apparently, the confusion started when some importer in the late 1800's didn't want to pay a veggie tax on his tomatoes, so he declared them fruit. Since then, the Supreme Court has ruled that they are actually veggies. It's all very confusing and, honestly, I have no idea why this is a debate on which the Supreme Court really needs to weigh in. Also, I'm pretty sure that, botanically, they are fruit. Even though the Supreme Court is fairly powerful, last time I checked, they couldn't alter nature, so....I'm going to go ahead and stick with the fact that tomatoes are technically fruit.
And, even though somewhere in my rational mind I always knew them to be fruit, perhaps because they are usually savory components of a meal, I have never really been able to fully accept it. But, that has all changed.
Until recently, I was not even aware of the existence of husk cherry tomatoes. For the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of gorging on them and it is thanks to these, the smallest tomatoes I have ever seen, that I am finally able to open my mind and accept tomatoes as fruit.
Past their papery, tomatillo-like husk, lies a tiny orange tomato, so sweet and unique to taste that you might possibly forget it is a tomato at all. They are also called ground cherry tomatoes or cape gooseberry tomatoes, names that rightfully allude to the sugary fruit flavors laden in its juices.
It seems a shame to cook them, but truth be told, I had the good fortune to eat so many of these things raw that I was kind of getting sick of them. Combined with buttery new fingerling potatoes, fresh oregano, caramelized onions, and a hint of olive oil this galette reminds me of time spent in Provençe, and is a perfect way to celebrate the end of summer's bounty.
What you'll need:
For the pastry
1 cup AP flour
1 pinch salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 Tbsp ice cold water
For the filling
4-5 large fingerling potatoes, boiled, skin on, and sliced into rounds.
1 cup husk cherry tomatoes, roasted
1 cup regular cherry tomatoes, roasted
1 red onion, caramelized
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor - pulse the flour, salt and cubed butter until sandy. Add the ice cold water gradually and pulse until combined. Turn the pastry onto a well floured board, knead a few times and wrap in plastic, placing in the fridge to rest.
By hand - combine the flour and salt, whisk to combine. Use your hands to rub the cubes of butter into the flour, until a coarse, sandy texture is achieved. Add the ice cold water gradually, using just enough to allow the mixture to come together. Knead a few times and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to rest.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF
Slice the large cherry tomatoes in half and leave the small ones whole. Place them in a single layer on a baking tray and season with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of oregano. Place the baking tray in the oven, roast for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have burst and caramelized.
While you wait for the tomatoes to roast, separately prepare the caramelized onion and boil the potatoes. Be sure not to overcook the potatoes, they should not be soft and mushy, but firm enough to slice into rounds that are roughly 1/2 inch thick.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pour off the excess juices.
Making the Galette
Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Remove the pastry from the fridge and place it on a large piece of parchment paper.
Roll the pastry into a 14' round, about 1/8 inch thick.
Spread the caramelized onions around the center of the pastry, leaving about 1 inch around the perimeter.
Layer the roasted tomatoes on top of the onions.
Finally, top the tomatoes with the fingerling discs, nesting the potatoes side by side in the onion/tomato layers. It's ok if the tomatoes and/or onions poke up through the cracks between the potatoes.
Fold the outer edge of dough over the top of the potatoes, working all the way around the galette.
Beat the egg in a bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pastry with egg wash.
Place the galette in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove the galette from the oven and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and freshly ripped basil leaves.
Serve warm or room temperature.
Use 2 large shallots in place of a red onion.
Spread a layer of roasted garlic on the bottom of the galette before adding the veggies for added flavor.
Top with crumbled goat cheese or feta straight out of the oven.
Use fresh thyme in place of oregano.
The pastry and other components can be made ahead of time.